301 Days (redux)

Another metric leap year of gamedev experiments and such

Day 44a - GGJ2016 Postmortem

Feb 6, 2016 - 3 minute read - OldDaysGameJams

I really don’t like the term “postmortem”. Can we say “postpartum” instead?

Saw some friends, made a game, ate more Red Vines than any human reasonably should.

Our Game

After the theme was announced (“Ritual”, by the way. Not the worst theme ever, at least.), we quickly came up with a simple idea: Using monks to keep magical stones in place for an influence ritual. As long as all of the stones are in place, the sphere of influence grows. Win condition: the influence covers the entire level. Lose condition: all monks are dead. Additional theming involved this all taking place on the back of a World Turtle, which was atop an endless stack of turtles, but this only shows up in the intro and ending screens (and the game’s name: Turtles All the Way Down).

Monk and stone. Monk and stone. Ultimately unfortunate. Ultimately unfortunate. Markerboard concept art. Markerboard concept art.

The Jam

I once again travelled to Cleveland, Ohio for the weekend. There’s a great group there, and it’s an interesting site (a small business incubator housed in a former car dealership). I dragged an old friend of mine along, and we opted out of the whole “pitch ideas, form teams” portion of the first evening. Since we’re both primarily coders, the graphics came from pdclipart.org, crudely-drawn sketches on markerboard (see above), and things generated by GIMP.

This was my first time trying to deal with Unity’s 2D toolset, and sadly it didn’t go very well. We had to give up on trying to get animations to work, and wasted a lot of time wondering why we couldn’t see our particle effects. The code is full of 2D-to-3D (and vice versa) transitions, where either a 2D native method didn’t seem to exist or I just wasn’t familiar enough to figure it out. Watching the other teams, it seemed like Construct2 is the better choice for simple 2D stuff at the moment. But then Danceferatu is a good counter-example. Hmm.

And of course, the outside world imposed itself a bit in the form of an ill family member, and we didn’t get as many hours dedicated to jamming as we would have liked. As a result, there’s no sound or music at all. But at least we did have something playable (with three levels, even!) to present at the end.

Successful playthrough. Successful playthrough.

Future Work

I’m not sure whether to continue work on this game or not. Another jammer said we should add multiplayer local co-op, which would be fun.

More to come

Global Game Jam page for the site

Global Game Jam page for our game

Repository of questionable code and crude drawings